With an institution as old as the Olympics, it's developed some rituals along the way. One of those is pin collecting. Every two years, people from around the world will descend on the Olympic host city to buy and trade the commemorative pins each one produces to celebrate its games. But with Japan not allowing international visitors to come and watch the Summer Olympics, fans won't have a chance to do that in 2021. So, like Topps and the MLB, the International Olympic Committee is turning to NFTs (non-fungible tokens) to give hardcore collectors the next best thing.
Working with the IOC, video game developer nWay will release an officially licensed set of NFT Olympic Pins on June 17th. They recreate part of the IOC's Olympic Heritage Collection, commemorating games like the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens. According to USA Today, the pins will come in digital packs that will cost between $9 and $499, depending on the rarity of the included NFTs. Later in the year, the studio will allow fans to buy and sell the pins on its website. And ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Bejing, it will release a game that will give people the chance to earn them through gameplay.
If the IOC is hoping to cash in on the NFT craze, it may already be too late. According to a recent analysis conducted by Protos, the market for non-fungible tokens has effectively collapsed in the last month. Following a peak on May 3rd that saw $102 million worth of NFT sales in just one day, there have only been $19.4 million in sales in the past week. According to the website, the number of active wallets has also fallen, from over 12,000 to just over 3,900.